Pushmatic questions

This is a pushmatic panel. 125 amp rating. The meter is a 100/200 amp. There does not appear to be a main shutoff. There is a 60 amp breaker that is the second breaker that says “main lights” on the breaker and “main 110v” on the panel cover. Is that the main breaker? Seems like that is the wrong spot if it is. Also, there are no conductors to that breaker. I was thinking that it didn’t need one because of the “5 hand motion” rule, but it would take at least 11 movements by my count to shut off everything.

It’s a split bus. The breaker below the dryer breaker kills the “lighting section”, which is everything below it.

Thanks Brian, I was reading about split bus last night. What is the best indicator of a split bus?

I recommend electrical panel replacement when I see any push-matic panel/breakers. Springs inside rust, corrode, and break. Some insurance companies, will not insure a home with these panels in place. I have had many issues with these breakers when I used to test them; they would never re-set.

From someone who used to post here and was usually very helpful.

The PushMatics were of famously high-quality, and were probably discontinued because it was hard for old people to push them in completely to click them over from ‘on’ to ‘off’ and vice-versa. It takes a firm press. There aren’t really any reported problems with the actual trip mechanism failing over the years. The PushMatic breakers are my all-time favorite residential breaker, and I wish they still made them. They had to be the most bullet-proof residential breaker design ever made. Sadly, many of them are simply at the end of their lives now. They were installed up until the late 70’s and very early 80’s. Most of what you’ll run across is from the 60’s.*

Pushmatics are great.
Insurance companies have no problem with them as they are high end.

The best indication is opening the cover and seeing wires going from a breaker in the top section heading down to the buss below. Typically the cover is divided into two sections with space for up to six double pole breakers up top and the smaller branch circuits in the lower section.

Pushmatic started with Bulldog Electric, which became ITE, then Gould, and finally Siemens.
There were NO reported problems with them. There are still virtually NO reported problems with them. In fact, you can still purchase them, though a bit pricey.

Which insurance companies? None that I know of. “Springs rust, corrode, and break”. I submit that if a spring rusts and corrodes for a Pushmatic breaker, then there is a problem with the environment in which the panel was installed, which would likely adversely affect any panel.

Test them? Does that mean you would short circuit them. Who’s SOP are you following?

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Push-matic breaker concerns.


From that link…

I think we tread on dangerous ground when we start to advise on insurance or insurability of properties.

Likewise, there are very few absolutes in the world. Always and never are dangerous to use.

Unless it’s “The Cubs will never win the World Series.” :frowning:

While I do appreciate the information provided on the InspectNY site, remember that, like my own, there are merely someone’s OPINION.

I have lots of opinions on lots of things.

Doesnt mean I am always right, or always wrong.

Last I checked, InspectNY wasn’t a testing lab.:wink:

I disagree. I feel it’s very important to point out issues that may hinder the ability to insure the residence.

Having said that, I have NEVER heard of an instance where insurance was denied because of the brand of panel (i.e. FPE, Zinsco, etc.) or the type of circuit breaker (i.e. pushmatic, Stab-lok, etc.). I would like to see someone support these claims.

I have had experience with insurance companies denying insurance based on fused panels, K&T wiring and AL wiring that has not been “upgraded.”

What are some other issues, outside of what you mentioned, that have made insuring a property difficult?

I would guess that there are many insatances, like this, of an HI saying something makes the property uninsureable, when in fact, it does not.

There was a thread, a while back, that stated 60AMP electrical service made a property uninsurable.

The Carson Dunlop many of us trained under makes Insurance denial claims on things such as asphalt siding and may have something on Pushmatics but I know that is B.S.

Diving boards, pool slides, seismic gas shut-off valves, Asphalt Comp roof covering in fire zones, cripple walls that are not shear-paneled, unbolted foundations, etc, etc.

I don’t make the statement that “the property is un-insurable,” but I do comment on “known” issues that can affect insure-ability and/or the cost of the coverage.

Here is an example of one item, and how it is listed in my report;